The most familiar, tried-and-true flavors may have impressive staying power on menus, but Technomic's most recent flavor findings also signal the need for operators and suppliers to stay on top of flavor trends by reinvigorating classic offerings with new and unique twists.
Three-fourths of consumers (73 percent) say that if they try and like a menu item with an innovative flavor, they would be highly likely to return to the restaurant for the same menu item.
- Many of today's consumers say they are increasingly driven to try new flavors (37 percent) and that new flavors can indeed influence them to visit a restaurant (41 percent).
- The demand for spicy flavors continues to rise: for the first time, a majority of consumers (54 percent) say they prefer hot or spicy sauces, dips or condiments, compared to 48 percent of consumers in 2011 and 46 percent two years earlier.
- Flavor synergy is a top trend to watch: Technomic data shows that sweet flavors pair well with the greatest number of other flavors, including savory, sour, smoky or spicy profiles.